The soft rock beat and sweet voice of Tamara Lindeman has been unraveled again in The Weather Station’s poignant fifth studio album, Ignorance. Against piano, strings, and '80s beats, the powerful message of Ignorance is rich and important. Lindeman exhaustively expresses the need for mass reform in the malignant and persistent problem of climate change.
Throughout the ten–track composition, The Weather Station effortlessly captures the anxiety of global warming on both an individual and universal scale, touching the unnerving sensation of being vastly out of control. The name of the album, Ignorance, speaks for itself: If we continue to ignore the omnipotent tidal wave of the current climate emergency, our apocalyptic doom is inevitable. For anyone who has felt heartbroken—about a relationship, an event, or a global crisis—this album is eye–opening.
Ignorance opens with perhaps the most mournful track on the album, “Robber." The heartbeat of the song follows a percussive backbeat, piano crescendo hits, and a duet of saxophone and strings. The lyrics provide the bloodline, serving the narrative on a golden platter of metaphors and imagery. Lindeman poetically divulges her internal apprehension towards being out of control—or robbed—towards things that have an immense individual impact on her. She elaborates on the extended metaphor of a burglar as an unruly force: “The robber never believed in you / he never saw you / you were two halves of the same piece / divided into two.”
The profundity of this song lies in the deeper implication of its message, or one's own interpretation of it. In her self–directed video, Lindeman is draped in a fragmented mirrored suit, perhaps embodying the dark and convoluted idea that we, as a consummate population, represent this enigmatic robber. She concludes the song by provoking this notion further, “Hold open the gates for the want of lust / All I saw was the dust.” Essentially, if mankind continues to pollute the Earth based on our own insatiable desires, we will become the robber of our own future.
Lindeman’s anxiety regarding global warming flows like a rampant current throughout the album, emphasized in tracks like “Atlantic.” Against a jazzy percussion beat, light piano chords, and gradual saxophone riffs, “Atlantic” is a poetic gem with a heavy emphasis on natural imagery. She confronts the central question of whether ignorance is truly bliss, singing “I should get all this dying off of my mind / I should really know better than to read the headlines / does it matter if I see?”
Each track adds to the narrative, shepherding the listeners into different scenes of Lindeman’s imagination. In “Tried to Tell You,” Lindeman sings sorrowfully about being disregarded by a loved one. In a desperate attempt to be heard, she grieves, “This is what the songs are for / This is the dirt beneath the floor,” but she is ultimately “As useless as a tree in a city park / Standing as a symbol of what we have blown apart.” This song confronts the vulnerability of being human, of falling deeply in love. She expresses these emotions through her diction and lyrical artistry, encompassing the agony of the one you love most setting you free.
The album follows an analogous complexion of melancholy and remorse, against The Weather Station’s conventional '70s pop sound. In “Parking Lot,” “Separated,” and “Loss,” Lindeman pours her heart out while the band maintains a catchy instrumental framework. She creates a metaphorical plot out of the action of watching a bird fly in “Parking Lot,” discussing the intimacy of the action and relating it to her vulnerability in a past relationship.
In “Separated,” Lindeman divulges her inner battle with constantly giving her best effort and receiving nothing in return. This song is a standout on the album since it forms a tempest of emotions, finalizing in a dramatic string interlude that creates a fracture in the traumatic emotion she expresses: “Separated by the belief this cut can heal.” Finally, in “Loss,” she comes to the candid actualization that “Loss is loss.” These three words feel like a culmination of the whole album’s objective to uncover a remedy to heartache: Acceptance of loss is the best way to grieve it.
The Weather Station’s Ignorance is brilliant. Lindeman carefully conveys sentimentality and emotion into each song through poetic diction and environmental tropes. A must listen, it bestows a unique perspective on coping with loss and concludes that ignorance is simply harmful. We cannot look away in the eye of the storm but must listen to one another and hold hands in fighting towards a greater good.